Proposal:Visitor receptions

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Visitor receptions
Proposal status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Push-f
Tagging: amenity=visitor_reception

Drafted on: 2022-10-02


  1. Define amenity=visitor_reception as described in #Tagging.
  2. Deprecate amenity=reception_desk in favor of amenity=visitor_reception.
  3. Deprecate camp_site=reception in favor of amenity=visitor_reception.


Visitor receptions can be found in many places: hotels, campsites, business centres, airports, etc. The most used tag for them currently is amenity=reception_desk (which despite being rejected) is currently used nearly 2,000 times. The problem with amenity=reception_desk is that it conflates a piece of furniture with a service. There can be receptions without desks just as well as there can be unused reception desks where no visitors are received. Large receptions even commonly have multiple reception desks: should these be mapped as multiple individual amenity=reception_desk nodes? Obviously not. While there certainly are desks that can be closed and opened, they usually don't have opening hours ... it's the reception that has opening hours — not the desk. It's also worth noting that ~650 times amenity=reception_desk is used in conjunction with building=*. Is it a desk or a building? Apparently it's both.

So why don't we just use amenity=reception instead? Well that would be ambiguous since you can receive many things: be it radio signals or newly wed couples at a wedding reception. amenity=reception_desk even acknowledges this by suggesting an additional tag:

reception_desk:for=visitors/delivery/... What kind of audience does this reception serve. Defaults to visitors, but larger facilities may have multiple receptions.

This proposal therefore suggests to deprecate amenity=reception_desk in favor of amenity=visitor_reception.

Another tag that is currently used to tag receptions is camp_site=reception which was introduced by a now abandoned proposal for camp sites. While the tag is currently used about 1,000 times, it is also problematic because it turns camp_site=* into a homonymous key: the key is otherwise mostly used to clarify the kind of a tourism=camp_site (e.g. camp_site=basic vs. camp_site=deluxe). This proposal therefore also suggests to deprecate camp_site=reception in favor of amenity=visitor_reception. Just by being located within the bounds of the camp site, it should be clear that the visitor reception belongs to the camp site.

While in previous (rejected) proposals it has been suggested that receptions should be tagged with tourism=* or information=*, receptions also occur in non-touristic venues (such as conference centres or business centres) and provide more services than information (besides information=* requires tourism=information so the previous argument also applies).


May be tagged as a node or an area. Other useful tags are:

The opening hours of the reception may also be added to the establishment the reception is for with the opening_hours:reception=* tag. E.g. opening_hours:reception=* may be added to a tourism=hotel or a tourism=camp_site but should not be used on a amenity=visitor_reception because you can just use opening_hours=*.



Features/Pages affected

External discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.